Cardiff student recognised for tackling homophobia

Cardiff University student Christian Webb has been named ‘Young Campaigner of the Year’ by LGBT+ rights group Stonewall.

Webb, who studies History, received the award from television personality Gok Wan at a ceremony held at the headquarters of Lloyds Banking Group in London.

The accolade was conferred in recognition of the student’s efforts at his former secondary school Ysgol Bryn Tawe in Swansea, where he has gone to extensive lengths to tackle homophobia.

“It was a pretty amazing experience,” Webb said of the awards ceremony.

He first began volunteering for Stonewall, which has strong record of exposing and tackling issues of inequality at educational institutions, in June 2014.

“The reason I got involved in the first place was that no child in Wales, regardless of their sexuality or identity, should grow up feeling unloved or unsupported,” Webb said.

“In secondary schools nine in ten teachers still hear or know of homophobic language being used, according to Stonewall Cymru’s research.”

“That’s why the work of Stonewall is still important,” he claimed.

The twenty year-old went on to detail his efforts at his former school, a Welsh-speaking comprehensive with around nine hundred pupils.

“I’ve been working to create a Sixth Form Equality Panel, made of up of thirty members of the Sixth Form who work throughout the school to tackle all forms of homophobia and homophobic language,” he said.

“As part of the project we also held a coffee morning which raised £185 for Stonewall through selling everything from cakes to t-shirts.”

He’s hopeful that in the future the project will continue to thrive independent of his input, and that the idea will spread to other schools in the area.

“What I really want to do now is go back to the school and develop the skills of the equality panel so they can continue with the project.”

“Hopefully it will thrive organically and continue to work and inspire other schools to deliver the same kind of project with the same level of success,” he concluded.

In 2014, Cardiff University was one of only six universities to achieve full marks in Stonewall UK’s ‘Gay by Degree’ survey.

Earlier this year, Dr Iñaki Garcia Blanco of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies was appointed a Stonewall Cymru ambassador.